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Andreas and the Ambiguity of Courtly Love

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Andreas and the Ambiguity of Courtly Love



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Andreas and the Ambiguity of Courtly Love by Paolo Cherchi
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A resolution to the vexed problem whether a troubadour's love is erotic or spiritual is offered by Paolo Cherchi through a new reading of Andreas Capellanus' De Amore (written around 1186-1196). He suggests that Andreas, using a rhetorical strategy that creates ambiguity, condemns courtly love because its claim that passion generates virtue is untenable and deceitful. Although Andreas grasped the core of the courtly love 'system,' namely, the relation between passion and ethics, he failed to consider the notion of mezura, that courtly virtue through which troubadours transformed nature into culture, and erotic passion into social discourse. Cherchi offers an innovative interpretation and a close reading of selected poems. He traces the history of Proven al lyric poetry, highlighting some of the significant personalities and movements.

Author Biography

Paolo Cherchi is a member of the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Chicago.
Release date NZ
April 11th, 1994
Country of Publication
University of Toronto Press
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